Poachers blamed for killing Gir lion cub
A 5-month-old lion cub was killed for its nails and bones by poachers on the outskirts of Gir Wildlife Sanctuary near Liliya in Amreli district, forest wardens said.
The mutilated carcass was found with its feet and bones missing. Forest officials suspect poachers cut the feet after trapping and killing the animal.
In 2007, eight lions were killed in the sanctuary and in far-flung areas near Palitana by poachers from Madhya Pradesh. The same year, feet and bones of eight lions were found missing. "In this case too, only the skull and some small bones were still intact," said an official of the team of trackers which visited the spot. Lion bones are often used as a substitute for tiger bones in traditional medicines.
Late on Friday night, villagers called up the forest department about the legless carcass of a cub. When the officials reached Chandgadh village they found that the cub’s body had been eaten by other animals.
"The carcass was in such a bad condition that it was not possible to ascertain the time of death. It has been sent to the forensic laboratory and a team has also been sent to inspect the spot," said C N Pandey, principal chief conservator of forests.
Pandey said since the legs are missing, poaching cannot be ruled out. Hence, senior forest officials along with the chief conservator of forest (wildlife crime) have been asked to investigate the case. As the incident has occurred in a revenue area, social forestry officials have also been involved in the investigations.